Fight for labour standards, social justice and employment.
Precarious work is on the increase in all industrial and service sectors in all parts of the world. Reversing this trend and regaining power and justice for working people requires industrial and political campaigns in unity at the national and international levels.
Our global unity should also link workers in all sectors. The global union federations and the International Trade Union Confederation are working together to tackle the rising trend of precarious work at the international level.
Among the tools that can help in the global fight against precarious employment are International Framework Agreements with transnational corporations. These agreements are designed to ensure core labour standards are respected in all facilities of a transnational company and in its supply chain. Combined with organising and trade union vigilance, these agreements can show an employer what we can do when we take it on in unity.
At the International Labour Organization, Recommendation 198 was adopted in 2006 proposing that governments formulate and adopt national policies to prevent companies from evading their responsibilities. We must push all governments to legislate in line with this internationally agreed recommendation to provide workers with greater protections.
And our national and international efforts to influence the policies and outcomes at the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank must promote globalisation that puts labour standards, social justice and employment first not last.
Forming wider alliances with organisations that share our concerns is also vital. Many of the most vulnerable workers are not yet organised in unions and mobilising them is essential to promoting sustainable development and employment and fighting poverty.
We must not allow a future in which corporate power and profits are built on the destruction of our security and rights. Precarious work affects us all: with the combined strength of all workers we can reverse the tide.
ILO RECOMMENDATION 198
The International Labour Organization (ILO), a United Nations agency through which governments, employers and unions adopt legally binding labour standards, agreed an important new policy in 2006.
To close legal loopholes encouraging precarious work such as bogus "self-employment", the ILO proposes governments adopt clear policies to distinguish an employment relationship from a commercial contract.
For example, if a worker is in a subordinate relationship to someone who controls their work, especially if that is their only employer, then they should be classed as an employee rather than a contractor.
Governments are now supposed to review their laws to bring them into line with Recommendation 198 by defining objective criteria for determining whether an "employment relationship" exists.
The ILO also passed a resolution urging governments to consult unions about bringing their laws into line with the recommendation. So unions should press governments to do just that.
See a copy of ILO Recommendation 198 here.Jul 10, 2008 – Cherisse Fredricks